Will I need a Visa to do Volunteer Work in South Africa?
Nationals from Australia, New Zealand, USA Canada and the European Union
At this point in time you do not need a visa to enter SA. You will get a temporary Visitors Permit – valid for 90 days when you present your passport.
Should you want to stay for longer than 90 days, you can either apply for a Visa in your home country or when you get to SA without one and extend your Visitors Permit while you are in South Africa. An immigration expert can help you with either of these choices.
Extending a Visitors Permit while in SA
If you get to SA without a visa, you will be issued with a Visitors Permit. You are allowed to apply for an extension if you do so 30 days before it expires. Should you have any worries regarding this process, you should seek the advice of a professional to assist you with the application.
The different types of documentation that may be needed when you apply to extend your Visitors Permit.
- An application form
- A valid passport
- The application fee (R425)
- Proof that you can cover the cost of living while in SA
- A return plane ticket
- Documentation that confirms your reason and duration for your stay
- Your valid Visitors permit
- Your birth certificate
- A medical certificate
- A letter confirming that you are not going to be paid for the work you are coming to do
- A letter from the organization you will be volunteering for, stating how long you will be offering your services for and the type of services that you will be offering.
Even though you are requested to produce a police clearance certificate, you have up to 12 months in which to get that sorted out. By that time, you might even be on your way back home.
Most times you will not need to produce your medical or birth certificate, unless you want to extend for more than one month. It is a good idea to bring them with just in case though. Most medical centres in SA will be able to help you to get a medical Certificate for this purpose.
Nationals from other countries
If you are from some of the African countries or the former Eastern Bloc countries, you will be required to have a Visa to enter SA and you will need to get one before you travel.
By Robbie Ragless